Schistosomiasis and Agriculture in Burkina Faso

Start date

Thursday, 18 Apr 2019, 16:15

End date

Thursday, 18 Apr 2019, 17:30

International Institute of Social Studies
Daniele Rinaldo

On 18 April 2019, a post-doctoral research fellow from Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Daniele Rinaldo, will conduct a seminar entitled 'Schistosomiasis and Agriculture in Burkina Faso'. This seminar is part of the 'Development Research Seminar' series at the ISS.

Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease that causes the annual loss of between 1,7 and 4,5 million disability-adjusted life years, with most of the present burden being concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa. The highest prevalence and intensity is usually found in school-aged children, adolescents and young adults: the disease is learning-impairing and poverty-reinforcing, and the debilitations caused by untreated infections have a direct negative externality on the development of the affected areas. In this paper we study the impact of this disease on the agricultural production of Burkina Faso, a country in which schistosomiasis is endemic.

We create a large dataset by geolocalizing a household and plot-level survey dataset ranging from 1993 to 2017, and subsequently joining it with satellite data for climate and geographic controls as well as model predictions of the schistosomiasis prevalence. Using machine learning techniques, regularization and tree-based methods, we show the large negative impact that this disease has on the agricultural development of the country, as well as explore the complex feedback dynamics of water resources development and schistosomiasis propagation. 

"Schistosomiasis and Agriculture in Burkina Faso", co-authored with Jean-Louis Arcand (IHEID, Geneva), Javier Perez-Saez (École Fédérale Polytechnique de Lausanne) and Penelope Vounatsou (Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel

  • Daniele Rinaldo is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva, Switzerland. He also acts as a teacher of the PhD course 'Stochastic Modeling for Economists' at IHEID. Previously, he was a PhD researcher at the same institute where he finished his thesis on 'Essays on Non-Gaussian Economics'. Among his past projects include, 'Increasing Risk: Dynamic Mean-Preserving Spreads, with Jean-Louis Arcand and Max-Olivier Hongler, Journal of Mathematical Economics (2018)' and 'May the Force Be With You! Mean-Preserving Spreads and the Agency Problem, IHEID working paper, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (2018)'. 

    Currently, he is working on two funded projects, including as a co-coordinator on 'Schistosomiasis, Agriculture and Migration in Africa: a joint Economic and Ecological Approach, funded by the Swiss Network of International Studies (SNIS)', and as research associate on 'Automated Interpretation of Political and Economic Policy Documents. Machine Learning using semantic and syntactic information', funded by the Swiss National Fund (SNF).